Shaq Mason

Texans, G Shaq Mason Finalizing Extension

Acquired via trade in March, Shaq Mason is set to sign a long-term deal with the Texans. The veteran guard is finalizing a three-year extension with Houston, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports (on Twitter).

The deal is worth $36MM, with Wilson adding $22MM will be guaranteed in total. This represents another nice payday for Mason, who played his 2022 Buccaneers season on his Patriots-constructed contract. That deal was set to expire after the 2023 season, but the Texans are eyeing a longer-term partnership. As part of that guarantee, Mason will collect a $10MM signing bonus.

Previously attached to a $9MM-per-year contract, Mason will do better on his third NFL deal despite readying for his age-30 season. At $12MM per annum, Mason’s new contract will check in 11th among guards. While his Patriots pact from 2018 landed higher on the guard hierarchy, the $22MM guarantee will bring solid security in his third NFL city.

Mason, who will soon be signed through the 2026 season, landed in Houston in a pick-swap trade. The Bucs only pried a 2023 sixth-round pick for the veteran blocker, who has been traded twice in two years. New England fetched a fifth-rounder from Tampa Bay in 2022. During a turbulent season for the Bucs’ offensive line, Mason started all 17 games. He will be expected to anchor Houston’s interior O-line going forward.

Texans GM Nick Caserio was with the Patriots when they drafted Mason in the 2015 fourth round, and he remained with the AFC East franchise when Mason signed his initial extension. The Texans used a first-round pick on guard Kenyon Green last year; the Texas A&M product will be set to team with Mason on a line that includes three first-rounders. The Texans have extended one of those this offseason — left tackle Laremy Tunsil — while right tackle Tytus Howard is heading into his fifth-year option season. Houston gave Tunsil another market-resetting contract. Although Mason’s is an upper-middle-class deal, the Texans will complement C.J. Stroud‘s rookie contract with two eight-figure-per-year accords.

Despite being a Day 3 pick, Mason has become one of this era’s best guards. He started for each of the Patriots’ three late-2010s Super Bowl teams, lining up as a Tom Brady protector in each of those Super Bowls. Pro Football Focus ranked Mason as a top-10 guard in each season from 2016-21, with the Georgia Tech alum playing a key role in the Pats’ Mac Jones-piloted 2021 playoff season as well. As they did with Rob Gronkowski, the Pats shipped Mason to the Bucs for a Day 3 choice. The Bucs had lost longtime guards Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa and saw center Ryan Jensen suffer a severe knee injury in training camp. Mason joined Tristan Wirfs in anchoring Tampa Bay’s O-line last season, and PFF slotted the former just outside the top 20 at guard amid the Tampa chaos.

While the Texans have hovered far off the playoff radar over the past three seasons, they have assembled an intriguing O-line. Wednesday’s agreement will position Mason to join Tunsil and Green as long-term Stroud blockers.

Texans To Acquire G Shaq Mason From Buccaneers

It was learned yesterday that the Buccaneers would be moving on from veteran guard Shaq Mason in the immediate future, via either a trade or release. The former route will be taken; Tampa is trading Mason to the Texans, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport tweets that the deal will see Houston and Tampa Bay swap sixth- and seventh-round picks. By moving on from Mason, the Buccaneers will see $5.3MM in cap savings while incurring a dead money charge of $4.3MM. The Texans, meanwhile, will acquire a consistent performer at right guard who has one year remaining on his current contract.

Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 reports (via Twitter) that Mason is likely to be extended upon his arrival with the Texans. That would come as little surprise, as the 29-year-old is set to carry a cap hit of just over $9.5MM in 2023. A new contract aimed at lowering that figure would help the team’s cap situation and secure his future there over the course of multiple years.

Mason logged 98 starts during his seven-year stint with the Patriots to begin his career. He was traded to Tampa Bay last offseason, and started every game as part of the Buccaneers’ revamped interior o-line. His 1,200 snaps were a welcomed sight considering the multitude of injuries the team had to deal with over the course of the season. Mason was charged with 25 pressures allowed by PFF, however, which resulted in an overall grade of 68.9, the second-lowest of his career.

In addition to agreeing to acquire Mason, the Texans are moving on from A.J. Cann, Wilson reports. A longtime Jaguars starter, Cann signed with the Texans last season and immediately became a full-time starter for the team. Cann started 16 games with Houston and has been an NFL first-stringer throughout his eight-year career, lining up at guard and center. The veteran guard joins center Justin Britt as O-line starters who will not be in the Texans’ 2023 equation. The team released Britt, its starting center for the past two seasons, ahead of free agency. Britt is expected to retire.

Houston used a first-round pick on Kenyon Green last April, and he served as their left guard. Presuming Mason is extended on a new multi-year deal, that pair will serve as the Texans’ guard tandem for at least the intermediate future. With center Scott Quessenberry having just been re-signed, the interior of Houston’s offensive line is firmly in place.

Buccaneers To Move On From Shaq Mason

Shaq Mason‘s stint with the Buccaneers will end after one season. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers plan to release the guard if they can’t work out a trade for him in the coming days.

Mason has one year left on the five-year, $50MM pact he signed with the Patriots back in 2018. He’s set to earn $8.5MM in 2023, and Tampa Bay could clear more than $4MM in cap space by letting him go.

The 29-year-old lineman was traded to Tampa Bay last offseason for a 2022 fifth-round pick, reuniting him with quarterback Tom Brady. Mason started all 17 games for the Buccaneers, finishing fourth at his position in snaps played. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him 21st among 77 qualifying guards, the first time since 2015 that he didn’t finish in the top-10. Still, Mason showed that he’s clearly got something left in the tank entering his age-30 season, so it shouldn’t take long for him to find a new home.

The 2015 fourth-round pick made a name for himself in New England, where he won two rings during his seven seasons with the organization. He ranked in PFF’s top-five guards for four of those years, including a first-place ranking in 2018.

Buccaneers Rumors: CBs, OL, RBs, Mason

In line with reports we’ve been following all summer, it appears that Tampa Bay cornerback Jamel Dean has seized the starting job opposite Carlton Davis, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Dean was battling it out with Sean Murphy-Bunting who has held a starting role for much of his young career with the Buccaneers but whose injuries last season left the door open for Dean to make a run for the position. Recent reports seemed to indicate that Dean had the inside track on the starting role, but Auman was able to confirm it.

It was also discussed recently that if Murphy-Bunting was unable to win the job, he would only be able to come on the field in a backup capacity, since the Buccaneers would prefer to man three safeties in their nickel package this year. In nickel packages, Tampa Bay will use Davis and Dean on the outside with safeties Antoine Winfield, Logan Ryan, and Mike Edwards manning the rest of the secondary.

Head coach Todd Bowles spelled out the situation for Murphy-Bunting after awarding the starting job to Dean, saying that “he doesn’t plan on rotating his outside corners,” meaning that Murphy-Bunting’s playing time will largely come as a sub in both base and nickel packages.

Here are a few more rumors coming out of central Florida, starting with some more news on the depth chart:

  • After a frustrating offseason that saw Tampa Bay offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs deal with a postseason ankle injury, and an oblique strain once his ankle had healed, the 23-year-old finally got some good news. After he practiced the last two days, Bowles told the media that Wirfs was trending towards being able to play in Week 1, according to Andrew Crane of the Tampa Bay Times. Another youngster should be joining Wirfs on the line as rookie second-round pick Luke Goedeke is in line to start at right guard for the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay doesn’t really have much of a choice with Aaron Stinnie and Ryan Jensen on injured reserve, but Goedeke will get an early opportunity to prove his draft-stock.
  • Despite his lack of experience against elite talent, rookie running back Rachaad White is drawing elite comparisons. The smooth, patient running-style that has drawn comparisons to such standouts as Marcus Allen, Edgerrin James, and Le’Veon Bell, has elevated White above Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard on the depth chart, according to Auman. Tampa Bay realized that potential talent when they drafted him in the third round and they’ll hope to see some of those comparisons make their way into football games.
  • Tampa Bay got a little bit of breathing room in their cap space today as starting guard Shaq Mason agreed to restructure his contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. The renegotiated deal will free up over $6MM against the cap this season for the Buccaneers.

Bucs To Acquire Patriots G Shaq Mason

One of Tom Brady‘s Patriots blockers is set to fill one of the Buccaneers’ open spots at guard. The Pats are trading Shaq Mason to the Bucs, Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of report (via Twitter).

Two years remain on Mason’s contract, which contains base salaries of just $6.5MM and $7.5MM. Mason has been with New England throughout his career; he was a starter on the final three Pats teams Brady piloted to the Super Bowl.

The Bucs are sending a fifth-round pick to the Pats for the veteran guard, Mike Giardi of tweets. It is a 2022 fifth, Tom Pelissero of tweets.

The compensation is similar to the Bucs-Pats’ Rob Gronkowski transaction two years ago. Tampa Bay sent a fourth to New England for Gronk, reuniting him with Brady. After a retirement that did not even last two months, Brady’s return appears to have keyed some aggressive Bucs maneuvers. Ryan Jensen is back at center, and the team is re-signing top cornerback Carlton Davis. It should be expected Gronk will return as well.

Tampa Bay has seen its guard tandem of the past four years — Ali MarpetAlex Cappa — splinter, with Marpet retiring and Cappa committing to the Bengals. Mason has been regarded as one of the league’s better guards, making this compensation appear rather light given the low salaries tied to his deal.

A fourth-round pick in 2015, Mason moved into the Patriots’ starting lineup quickly. He started 98 games for the Pats over the past seven seasons. Mason signed a five-year, $45MM extension with the Pats in 2018. Given where the guard market has gone, that deal looks team-friendly now. It would not surprise if the Bucs addressed the contract at some point. This will be Mason’s age-29 season; his age-28 campaign ended with Pro Football Focus grading him fourth overall among guards.

The Pats have now seen their longtime Mason-Joe Thuney guard duo disband, with Thuney defecting to the Chiefs in March 2021. The two played together for five seasons. New England will create just more than $7MM in cap space by trading Mason. Trent Brown, New England’s right tackle in 2021, is also unattached presently. Michael Onwenu would make sense as a starter in 2022, given the departures of Mason and Ted Karras (Bengals). But the Pats have work to do up front.

Patriots Move T Trent Brown To IR

Trent Brown has not played since Week 1 due to a calf injury. The Patriots’ right tackle starter is now guaranteed to miss at least three more games; the team placed Brown on IR Saturday, Field Yates of tweets.

Since his first stint with the Patriots ended, Brown has been unable to stay healthy. He did make the 2019 Pro Bowl, becoming the rare right tackle invitee that year, but played in just 11 games. Last year, a calf injury in Week 1 sidelined him before multiple stints on the Raiders’ reserve/COVID-19 list wrecked his season.

The Patriots reacquired Brown for a Day 3 pick but have not been able to deploy him much. As part of a redone contract, Brown is only signed through the end of this season. The 6-foot-8 blocker’s value has taken a major hit since the Raiders gave him a four-year, $66MM deal early in free agency two years ago.

In addition to Brown’s extended absence, the Patriots are set to be without three other offensive line starters against the Texans. Left tackle Isaiah Wynn and guards Shaq Mason and Michael Onwenu are out. Mason is injured but not on IR; Wynn and Onwenu are on the team’s coronavirus list. This will leave center David Andrews as New England’s lone first-string O-lineman available Sunday in Houston.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/21/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

New England Patriots

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Matt Pryor

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Patriots Place Sony Michel, Shaq Mason, Derek Rivers On Reserve/COVID-19 List

Just as the Patriots took their two highest-profile players off the reserve/COVID-19 list, they placed three more players on it. Sony Michel, Shaq Mason and Derek Rivers landed on the list Saturday, per Field Yates of (on Twitter).

Michel has tested positive, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reports (on Twitter). Mason and Rivers have not. Although Michel was on New England’s IR list, this is certainly a situation to monitor for the league. The NFL moved the Patriots’ Week 4 game to Monday after Cam Newton‘s positive test surfaced the previous Saturday and postponed the Denver-New England Week 5 game to the following Monday and then, after another Pats positive test emerged Sunday morning, delayed it another week.

Players do not have to test positive for the coronavirus to be placed on teams’ COVID lists; they can land on there if they are deemed close contacts of someone who has tested positive. The Pats took Newton and Stephon Gilmore off their list this week but still have multiple players on it. James Ferentz and defensive end Byron Cowart were already on New England’s COVID list.

Approaching 4pm CT Saturday, the Pats’ Week 6 game against the Broncos remains scheduled for noon Sunday. The NFL was aware of the team’s impending Saturday adjustment to its COVID list, per Tom Pelissero of (on Twitter). However, the Pats did not resume practice until Thursday — after their game against the Broncos was moved off its Monday date — and canceled their in-person workouts Friday because of another positive test.

Michel has been on New England’s IR list since before their Week 4 game against the Chiefs; Mason missed Week 4 and was questionable for Week 6. The Pats will be down Mason and Ferentz from their starting O-line on Sunday, should the game remain scheduled. Rivers has played 21% of the Patriots’ defensive snaps this season; the defensive end has 1.5 sacks.

To help with depth, the Pats have elevated tackle Caleb Benenoch, tight end Rashod Berry, defensive end Nick Thurman and wide receiver Isaiah Zuber from their practice squad to their active roster.

Patriots Adjust Shaq Mason’s Deal

The Patriots have converted $1.75MM of guard Shaq Mason’s base salary into a signing bonus, as Field Yates of tweets. The move will create an extra $1.4MM in cap room for New England, giving them the space required to add wide receiver Mohamed Sanu to the payroll. 

Before the 2018 season, Mason inked a new five-year deal with $45MM in new money. That pact included a $12MM signing bonus, $5MM in incentives, and roughly $30MM in the first three years. Now, he’s made a simple adjustment on his contract to help bring Sanu into the fold.

Sanu didn’t come cheap for the Pats, but he’ll give Tom Brady another major weapon to help replace Josh Gordon. The Pats placed Gordon on IR on Wednesday with the belief that he will not be able to suit up again this year. Gordon, meanwhile, believes that he will be able to play again, so it’s a situation to monitor.

In other Pats news: the Patriots changed their minds about releasing tight end Eric Tomlinson. Tomlinson has not been released, the Pats say, so he may have a chance to build off of the season-high 38 snaps he logged against the Jets on Monday.

Contract Details: OBJ, Mason, Bengals

We have already learned a fair amount about the details of Odell Beckham Jr.‘s new mega-deal with the Giants, but Ralph Vacchiano of passes along some important information about OBJ’s cap hits. While his contract will provide New York with $3MM of cap relief in 2018, Beckham’s cap number balloons to $21MM in 2019 and will be between $15MM and $19.75MM from 2020 to 2023.

In 2019, then, the Giants could be devoting half of their cap space to just five players, and they are projected to have just $12MM in cap room in 2019 at the moment. That number will increase with several easy cuts and restructures, but Beckham’s contract will force the club to make a few difficult decisions, which Vacchiano explores in greater detail.

Now let’s take a look at a few more notes on recently-signed contracts:

  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe reports that Shaq Mason‘s extension with the Patriots includes $45MM in new money, a $12MM signing bonus, and $5MM in incentives. He also provides a breakdown of Mason’s guarantees, base salaries, and cap numbers (Twitter links).
  • Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Geno Atkinsextension with the Bengals includes a $13MM signing bonus, which is part of $17MM in guaranteed money. Atkins is also eligible for up to $500K per year in per game active bonuses and workout bonuses. Carlos Dunlap‘s new deal with Cincinnati, meanwhile, features $18MM in guarantees and several sacks escalators. Owczarski also provides the base salaries for both players.
  • Greg Mancz‘s two-year extension with the Texans, which kicks in after the 2018 season, is worth $6MM in total, per NFL insider Adam Caplan (via Twitter).